This is a photo of a framed photo that hangs in my bedroom. This my mom with her siblings; from left to right, Aunt Anne, Aunt Enid, mom (Betty), and Uncle Bob. Based on my estimate that mom was about 15 in the photo, I'm guessing it was taken around 1943.
Mom passed away sixteen years ago yesterday. She would have been 75 just nine days later on Christmas day. I still remember that day and the hours that my brother and I spent with her before she passed. She had been ill for some time, pain a constant companion, and while I would never have been entirely ready for her passing, it was a relief when she took her last breath.
A memory showed up in my Facebook feed and while I wrote in in 2014, I mean every word as much today as I did then.
No matter that we didn't always see eye-to-eye, I miss her. I miss the Sunday afternoon telephone conversations, catching up on the news (or maybe it was gossip). I miss visiting while we (or who I am kidding, while she) cooked a holiday meal. I miss her acerbic wit (even when it was directed at me), her toughness in the face of the pain that her constant companion, and her spirit. She may not have been perfect but she was pretty damn special.
There isn't a week that goes by that I don't think of something she said or did. When I travel as I did yesterday, I imagine her in the passenger seat of my car, keeping me safe.
We may grow old, but I don't think we ever grow up to the point where we no longer miss our parents.
Love you mom!
Every Christmas dinner with my children we share memories of the times we spent with mom/grandma. There are the funny stories - the time she substituted salt for sugar in the brownies. There are the sad/funny stories - the time she had her first stroke on Christmas Eve and how I messed up the dressing by putting too much sage in it and the gravy had dumplings in it courtesy of my older brother. (I did say she did the cooking, after that year I paid much more attention). There are the stories that I share from when I was a child - all the years that a neighbour couple came to the house on Christmas morning to have coffee and present a card with 4 quarters in it for her birthday. Oh, and the time mom mentioned she wanted liqueur glasses for Christmas. I proudly went to the local department store and purchased 6 shot glasses. Oops...
I was an adult before I truly realized how short changed she was having to share her birthday with the celebration of Christmas. The last few years we would set aside her birthday gifts for after dinner so that the attention was all hers...at least for a few minutes.
This Christmas we'll continue our tradition of remembrance of mom/grandma. There were be laughter, and perhaps a few tears. But as my daughter said to me yesterday, "Grandma is always watching and paying attention". I'm sure she is.